Echoes from Elsewhere
Opinion varies on the action taken by the local soccer team in entering the U. S. F. A. cup competition. In some of the New England hamlets, the territorial domain of the executives, some critics have been so harsh as to call President Cunningham for a show-down which ultimately would mean the suspension of Bethlehem, Giants, and Newark from the league, contending that Bethlehem has been a drag on the circuit. In presenting the position of Bethlehem, statements supposedly of fact seem badly garbled and some ridiculous in the extreme.
The Losing Proposition
The National Challenge Cup is a losing proposition, so the clubs favoring the withdrawal from the play, say. The Bethlehem management contends that the cup play is one of the chief means of existence. The approximate figures available seem to substantiate the Bethlehem point of view. It is understood that the gate of the cup play last year totaled $107,000, of which the U. S. F. A. received in the neighborhood of $12,000. The balance of $95,000 was paid to the clubs. One would hardly say that such a sweet balance is a losing proposition. The whole matter seems to simmer down to the money grabbing instinct of some of the club managers; the lack of sportsmanship in playing the gamble of going through the early rounds and remaining in the play for the big money. Naturally if eliminated in the early rounds there is no revenue. Then again the teams contending split fifty-fifty while in the league games the home club plays the visiting team only 10 percent.
The Extra Revenue
Not every club in the American Soccer League is contributing to the support of the Bethlehem team with extra revenue. Only Fall River, New Bedford, Providence and the New York Giants and now the former has notified the club that the verbal and gentleman's agreement made at one of the early league meetings is null and void. In regard to this revenue, which in fact is 25 percent, Fall River critics seem grossly misinformed on the division. There is quite a difference between 25 percent of the gross and a like percentage of the net. Well, it's the net instead of the gross and as an illustration let the write base the deductions on a $2,000 gate. Eighteen percent of the gross retained by the home club, or $360; $300 guarantee to the visiting club; officials and incidentals, approximately $100. This leaves a net balance of $1,240. Bethlehem shares of the latter, therefore, based on 25 percent, is $310. Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that this agreement was voluntary on the part of the clubs involved. And what was the reason? Everyone realized the drawing power of the Bethlehem team, the big gates and the big revenue. In view of this attitude it would hardly seem that Bethlehem, even with its small gates at home, has been a drag on the circuit. As for throwing Bethlehem out of the league, that is hardly necessary. If recalled correctly, the local team did present its resignation but the other clubs would not have it that way and were satisfied to make the special inducements insofar as revenue was concerned.
The Heavy Schedule
The league says that the schedule is too extensive to play cup games. Not any more extensive than it was last year when in addition to the league tilts, the National Cup and the Lewis Cup games were played. And some club managed to squeeze in a few exhibition games. That is a lame excuse, bared by the number of games played by the respective clubs last season. For the edification of the league executives these were: Fall River, 57; New Bedford, 54; Nationals, 54; Bethlehem, 52; Boston, 51; Providence, 56; Giants, 56; Brooklyn, 54; Coats, 52; and Newark, 47. It might not [SECTION MISSING]